Little Valley Bioblitz

Annual spring event

Calling all local wildland enthusiasts, nature lovers, scientists and explorers! Join us for a weekend of biological surveys and camping within the Little Valley at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Whittell Forest & Wildlife Area.

Registration currently closed
Black bear in the Whittell Forest & Wildlife Area

Where and when

We will meet at the Hobart Reservoir Trail at 3 p.m. on Friday OR at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday to caravan into Little Valley together. Participants are welcome to join us on Friday and camp in designated areas on the forest that night to enjoy the natural beauty and to support multi-day participation. Camping details will be shared following your registration. The event is family friendly and fun for all ages!

Bioblitz overview

A bioblitz is an intensive, citizen-led survey designed to record and identify all living things (i.e., plants and animals) occurring within a defined area, with the ultimate goal of capturing a complete species list for a given property. Local experts and scientists will be on-site to assist in species identification, and no previous experience or expertise in botanical or wildlife surveys is necessary! All are welcome and encouraged to learn and participate. The Whittell Forest & Wildlife Area is a Sierra Nevada gem with a diversity of ecosystem types and species!

About the Little Valley and Whittell

The Whittell Forest & Wildlife Area (Whittell) is a 2,650-acre forested property owned by the University of Nevada, Reno. Whittell is situated in the Little Valley, which encompasses a large meadow system and forested landscape managed by the US Forest Service and the University. Whittell is a designated University Core Research Facility maintained as a living field laboratory for research, instruction and community outreach in order to contribute to the understanding and protection of natural ecosystem integrity while engaging Nevada citizens in learning and problem-solving activities.

Documenting observations

We will use the iNaturalist application to document observations. The iNaturalist app uses crowdsourced data to create local species lists and track species abundances (declines or population increases) in a given area. Nearly 63 million observations and 330,000 species have already documented using this app! The app may be downloaded via your app store and should be loaded prior to arrival onsite (no coverage in the valley!). Demonstrations on how to record observations using the iNaturalist application will be provided onsite by local experts and bioblitz organizers.

Steps to prepare you for making observations

  1. Register at
  2. Download the mobile app to your phone and log into your account
  3. Watch the iNaturalist video tutorials
  4. Read about how to make good observations and step-by-step instructions using the app on your phone:
    • You will need to join our project page. From your phone app, select the "more" link at the bottom right (a three dot icon), then select "projects," and then enter our project name into the search icon (magnifying glass icon): “Little Valley Bioblitz.” You can also find our project in the "nearby" screen.
    • At the bottom of the screen for each of your observations will be a "projects" folder. You will need to tag each observation to our Bioblitz project folder in order for your observation to be linked to the Bioblitz.
  5. Don't forget to charge and bring your phone to the Bioblitz!


No experience or expertise is needed to participate! A love of the natural world, desire to learn, or interest in supporting science are all you need.

What to bring

  • Masks & hand sanitizer
  • Water
  • Lunch and snacks
  • A fully charged phone or tablet with the iNaturalist app loaded!
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc)
  • Others: binoculars, field guides, gloves
  • Camping gear for those staying Friday, June 3

Access and camping

The Little Valley is accessed via a 4wd road and takes approximately 1.5 hours (one-way) from the University’s main campus. We aim to limit the number of vehicles, so carpooling is encouraged for those vaccinated and willing to travel together. Note that passenger vehicles cannot access the property and, although we love dogs, please leave them at home.


Please register using the following form. Once registered, details will be shared regarding day-of meeting locations, weather and on-site camping options. The registration process includes a waiver (University employees are exempt). Registration is currently closed.

Please remember to leave those doggies at home!


Bioblitz registration form